One year, my sister decided that we needed to not only have a real tree but go and cut it down ourselves. As was the custom at the time, people would bring the corpse of a pine tree indoors then adorn it with baubles and lighted strands of gaily colored globes and drape the whole thing in strips of metals designed to further catch and reflect the lights of the slowly rotting conifer. But I digress.
We made our way to a Tree Farm wherein acres of land had been set aside for the sole purpose of raising, trimming, training, and then butchering trees for our amusement. I was young enough to require special attention but allowed, on this occasion, to be loosened and let run free in search of the perfect specimen. In reality, I believe I was allowed to simply roam and keep out of the way of the real work to be done.
As I went through the neatly ordered "woods", I quickly became to realize that there were no other humans around me. I wondered if I could become lost or forgotten? And I saw the Perfect Tree. It was perfectly formed and shaped and seemed to stand out a bit from its neighbors. I approached with a weird buzzing in my ears. Gently reaching out and barely touching its needles I said, "I'm sorry we (humans) and cutting you (trees) down." Instantly, the haze around me lifted and I became aware of my sister calling out for me. I left and got in the car, the sweet aroma of a fresh kill filling the car with it's woodsy scent.
We got an artificial tree the next year.